The Fly Lady is a wonderful woman who has dedicated her life to helping people who have messy tendencies to get their homes under control. I discovered her a few years ago and immediately implemented her tips and tricks. One trick in particular that the Fly Lady espouses the most is putting on lace up shoes even if you're not leaving the house. Her belief is that if you get up and get completely dressed down to your shoes you will be more motivated and inspired to clean or de-clutter. With shoes tied onto your feet, you're less likely to lay in bed all day doing nothing.
So how does this relate to the shoes of peace? Well, when we put on the shoes of peace, we are prepared at all times to share the gospel with whomever God places in our path. In Matthew 28: 18-20, Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” We know this as the Great Commission. It is God's expectation that we, as his children, will go forth and spread the gospel. We can't do that if our shoes aren't on.
Being prepared to share the good news about Christ's redemptive work on the cross means that we are already wearing the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. Telling others about Jesus obviously means that you are firmly anchored on the truth of who Jesus is and what he has done for you. It also means that you are pursuing righteousness and committed to living for Christ. How can we share the gospel if we don't truly believe or if we aren't living the way God expects us to?
"We must make our standing secure and we do that by rooting ourselves in the gospel of peace."
So how does the gospel of peace help me to stand? And how does that help me to resist the devil? Good question! No soldier goes into battle without their shoes. Shoes offer protection against harsh terrain and possible debris. According to vroma.org, the shoes worn by Roman soldiers had metal "hobnails" on the sole for traction. It was imperative for the soldier to have a firm footing in the heat of battle, and so it is with us also. We must make our standing secure, and we do that by rooting ourselves in the gospel of peace. In the heat of the battle, we are standing secure in the knowledge that we have been saved by grace through faith and that we are now well-cared for children. This is our source of peace as the battle rages on.
The gospel is not only for the non-believer. It is nourishment to the soul of the believer. It reminds us and encourages us and transforms us. It grants us peace in the storm, knowing that we serve a God so deeply in love with us that he was willing to give his only Son as a ransom for our sins. No matter what storms rage and what attacks the enemy employs, knowing that we have been saved by the blood of Jesus should be the foundation on which we stand and the power to keep standing.
The next piece of the armor that we will look at is the breastplate of righteousness. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines righteous is "acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin." The website gotquestions.org states, "The Bible’s standard of human righteousness is God’s own perfection in every attribute, every attitude, every behavior, and every word." Wow! Righteousness is a tall order. It seems an impossible standard to meet. Well, it is. How can little ol' us ever hope to meet "God's own perfection?" We simply can't, at least not in of ourselves. In fact, Romans 3:23 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."So why does Paul instruct us to have on the breastplate of righteousness? Is that even possible? I mean, the belt of truth is definitely possible, but a breastplate of righteousness?
Well, the question arises, is Paul asking us to put on our own righteousness? No he is not. As believers, we have accepted Christ's sacrifice as a payment for our sins. Scripture says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" and in 1 Peter 2:24 " who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed." We can put on the breastplate of righteousness because of Jesus. His work on the cross means that we, as those who have believed, are now righteous in the sight of God.
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." ~2 Corinthians 5:21
So how do we put on the breastplate of righteousness. Well, it comes after we have put on the belt of truth. Once we are firmly planted in the truth of God and who He is we are able to put on the breastplate of righteousness. The first we must do is be obedient to the word of God. God's standard is holiness. Therefore, we hold up or thoughts, words, and deeds to the standard of holiness and when they don't comply we ask for forgiveness and strength to change and we get to work.
Studying the word of God is so important when it comes to the armor of God and it is extremely important when it comes to the breastplate of righteousness. You cannot rely on your or the world's definition of righteousness. Therefore, you must check the manual (the Bible), to make sure that you are truly equipped.
Remember that the breastplate is protecting the heart. If the heart is injured, then death is fairly certain. In spiritual warfare, if the enemy gets to your heart, then you are in deep, deep trouble. Proverbs 4:23 states, "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life." The state of your heart determines the decisions you make and the quality of life you enjoy. As such, we must be very, very sure that we have on the breastplate of righteousness. It is imperative that we "guard our hearts."
When you think of an armor, a belt is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Really, in a life or death fight how exactly will a belt be useful? Well, it depends on the type of armor.
When Apostle Paul was writing his letter, he was very familiar with the Roman armor. He was in prison and as such had a great familiarity with the Roman armor.
According to truth.net, "The belt—known as the cingulum or balteus—played a crucial role in the effectiveness of a soldier's armor. It was the belt that held the scabbard, without which there would be no place to put a sword." The belt held the other pieces of armor together and the same can be said of the the belt of truth.
In today's society, many people think that truth is relative. We hear phrases like "my truth" and "your truth." However, in the Kingdom of God, there is one truth. On this truth we build our faith and our trust. The truth simply is that Jesus was born of a virgin, died on the cross for the sins of the world, rose on the 3rd day taking death and hell captive, and ascended to heaven where he now sits on the right hand of God making intercession for us, his people. The truth is that "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that we who believe in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life." The truth is that "there is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus." The truth is that "in him we live and move and have our being." The truth is that he has gone to prepare a place for us and that he is coming back again.
Jesu said that the enemy is the father of lies. The only way to combat his lies is with the truth. Not the world's truth, not your own truth, but with God's truth. When the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, you must have your belt of truth on to keep your full armor together.
What truth are you leaning on today? What truth are you building your life on? If you are having trouble standing today, remind yourself of the truth. Speak it out loud and into your circumstance. Write it down and post it where you can see it. Meditate on and memorize it. For as Jesus said, "Then you will know and the truth, and the truth shall set you free."
"Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Yesterday's topic was standing firm. We left off asking: Is standing firm really even possible? How do we stand? What is this armor of God? Can we truly resist? Let's answer a few of these questions.
First of all, to answer the first question (Is standing firm even possible), YES!! Standing firm is possible. Is it easy? Sometimes, but most times no. It depends on the particular situation or trial. However, it is very possible. God never asks us to do anything that he has not or will not equip us to do. If we examine the key scripture, we see that standing firm depends on whether we have armed ourselves with the armor of God.
I hope that all bible believing children of God know that we have an enemy. We have an adversary who is determined to destroy us. Ephesians 6:11-12 states, "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Here the scripture is clearly telling us that we are fighting a battle that can only be won if we are dressed in the armor of God. If we have any hope of standing firmly when trials and tribulations or persecution and oppression appear, then we must make sure that we are securely anchored to God and clothed in His armor.
So yes, we can stand firmly. It is definitely possible. Don't listen to the enemy. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Next time we will take a closer look at the armor of God, what it is and how we put it on.
God bless you!
Any discerning person, saved or unsaved, believer or non-believer, can tell that the world is in deep trouble. From the horrors of terrorism to incredibly extreme weather anomalies, it is quite clear that we are living in desperate times. For the disciple of Christ, it is unmistakable that these are the times the bible calls the end of days.
In such evil days, the need to be firmly rooted in Christ is exceedingly evident. As the wickedness of man grows, it is easy to become disillusioned and discouraged, but for those who have chosen Jesus as their Lord and Savior, we must stand firm on His Word.
God expects His people to stand despite all the mess and distress that surrounds us. Disciples don't pack up and go running for the hills. When trouble comes in like a flood, the devoted disciple holds tight to the hand of God and is anchored to His word. Ephesians 6:13 says, "Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm."
So how do we stand? Is standing firm really even possible? What is this armor of God? Can we truly resist? Check in tomorrow as we delve deeper to answer these pertinent questions.